Let’s be honest, making it to the gym can often be the hardest part of the workout. Despite the fact that we know working out is beneficial to our health, we often find ourselves lacking that motivation to lace up and exercise. Whether it’s lack of time, energy, or both- I have some ideas that will make it easier for you to get up, get out, and get active!
1: Preparation begins the night before. I’m usually rolling into bed pretty late at night (often times because my wife wants to start watching an episode of some high school drama TV series like Gossip Girl at 11pm). And yes, I occasionally give into some late-night Netflix as long as I’m prepared for the next day’s workout before pressing ‘play’. Try setting your workout clothes right next to the bed: shoes, socks, shorts, shirt, water bottle and headphones. Even better if you lay it all out in such a way that you literally trip over it if you don’t put them on first thing after throwing the covers off. Several people I know prefer to take it a step further and sleep in their workouts clothes (well, everything minus the shoes I hope…) Even if you do hit the snooze button the next morning, you’ve at least given yourself some “flex time” by preparing the night before.
2: Bribe yourself. At the end of your workout you can reward yourself with a ______ (name your favorite food). During a workout your insulin levels are lowered which actually makes having something high in carbohydrates beneficial after your sweaty gym sesh. I personally get amped up for workouts at the thought of my post-workout protein shake and a pack of fruit snacks. Maybe that post-workout doesn’t sound appealing to you whatsoever so reward yourself with whatever sounds good to you. Another way you can bribe yourself is with the good ‘ol buddy system. I recently heard about someone who was so fed up herself for not getting to the gym that she gave her embarrassing ‘before’ photos to her friend and told her that she could post them to facebook if she didn’t get to the gym to workout! Now that’s an interesting form of bribery (or maybe I’d consider that self-blackmail?). Another idea is to buy a stylish new outfit a size too small (leaving the tags on of course). Tell yourself that if you drop an inch off your waist you get to keep it. Whether it’s with food, friends, or fashion- bribe yourself.
3. Dig Deep. Totally over caring about how you would look in that stylish new size-too-small outfit? I know. Let’s dig deeper. Find a bigger purpose behind why you need to go to the gym. Often times people will recognize that exercise is more of a necessity than a choice when they look at their family history. A family history of diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease is scary. Get your blood work done and look for elevated triglycerides, cholesterol, and glucose levels. Health indicators can help to positively influence you to improve your health. After all, your health isn’t only about you. Your current family and especially your future family depend on you being your healthiest self.
I hope these tips make it a little easier for you to grab your gear and break and sweat. Make a plan, and when you find yourself justifying exercise that day, employ these tactics. Prepare yourself, dig deep, and hey, even self-blackmail yourself if you need to because your healthy self will thank you for it!